District 8 Newsletter
March 2016

A Message From Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief

March provides us the opportunity to acknowledge the numerous contributions woman have made to our country. Although our history books provide a lot of information about what great men have done for the United States, there have always been hard-working women who have fought for a better tomorrow. As we all look back this month, and remember the great women of the past including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and many, many, more we must also look to the future. We must let the passion and commitment they expressed guide us to continue to grow as a nation that values all its citizens fully. Although our history books provide a lot of information about what great men have done for the United States, there have always been hard-working women who have fought for a better tomorrow. Happy Women’s History Month!

I welcome your comments and want to hear which issues are important to you. Send an email to me at bsharief@broward.org or call my office at 954-357-7008. Also, check out the Barbara Sharief Facebook page at Facebook.com/barbara.sharief or follow Barbara Sharief at Twitter.com/bestmom39.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Residents who earn a household income of less than $54,000 can have their taxes filed for FREE by Hispanic Unity's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workers aboard United Way of Broward County's Mobile Resource Center. VITA is an invaluable free service for low and moderate-income tax payers which saves them tax preparation fees and connects them to income boosting tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Earned Income Tax Credit was recently made permanent by Congress and is acknowledged as one of the most meaningful “tax breaks” available to working families today. Annually, the VITA Coalition recruits and trains 200+ individuals to become IRS-Certified volunteers who provide free tax preparation services. For more information, please contact Natalie Beasley at (954) 453-3765 or nbeasley@unitedwaybroward.org.

Year of Good News

I presented Martin Cala and Amber Pristas with the “Year of Good News” Award at the March 1st Commission Meeting. Martin and Cala are both seniors at West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines. Martin is ranked #1 in his grade, is Vice Present of the National Honors Society and has an amazing GPA of 5.5! Amber has the most community service hours in her grade, earning an impressive 1,022 hours and has a GPA of 4.9! GO BOBCATS!


Black Tech Week

I attended Black Tech Week at the Adrienne Arsht Center to celebrate the accomplishments of Felecia Hatcher, Derrick Pearson and their Code Fever Team who have been keeping the Science and Technology movement alive. They specialize in showing other prospective entrepreneurs the way to success using technology to their advantage. This includes marketing, branding, leadership skills, managing business and much more.

Black Tech Week 

National Association of Counties

As President of the National Association of Counties, I have had the opportunity to do many things. But while I was in Washington DC last month, I was able to do the most moving and rewarding of them all. We laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery. It was an honor and privilege and the Arlington Cemetery is such an amazing part of our history. It is sacred and we truly were humbled to stand and honor those who have fallen to protect all that we hold dear here in America. God bless them and may they rest in peace.

I also had some great meetings on Health and Human Services. I was happy to meet with Congressman Ted Deutch and Congresswoman Gwen Graham regarding restore, flood, sober homes & FEMA reauthorization.


Serving on County Boards

We are seeking residents with an interest in public service to represent the needs of the district. If you are interested in being considered, please forward a detailed resumé to bsharief@broward.org. Be sure to include your permanent address, phone number and email address; whether you are a registered voter; whether you are a registered lobbyist; whether you serve on any other Board, Authority or Agency (dual office holding); whether you are related to any Commissioner; and whether you have any potential conflicting business relationship. For a description of Boards, visit Broward.org/Intergovernmental and select BOARDS AND COMMITTEES.

Foreclosures and Housing Assistance

If you received a foreclosure or eviction notice from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, you should also receive a resource guide listing the agencies that may be able to help you in the foreclosure process or to obtain alternate housing. For information regarding the National Mortgage Settlement you can contact the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator at 1-866-430-8358. For information regarding the Making Home Affordable Program – a mortgage modification program - call 888-995-HOPE (4673) and for further assistance with home buying or foreclosure call the Housing Foundation of America at 954-923-5001.


Helpful Resources

Broward County Family Success Administration Division assists individuals and families with accessing the services they need to build a stronger, healthier and self-sufficient family unit. The centers provide assessment and case management, and, if eligible, rent/mortgage and utility assistance. If you have recently had a loss of income, received an eviction notice/mortgage default letter, or a water/electricity shut off notice, visit Broward.org/HumanServices/FamilySuccess or call 954-357-5650 or 954-357-5001 to find out how they can help you. The South Family Success Center is located in Commission District 8 at 4733 SW 18 Street, West Park, 33023 (Broward County Transit Route 5). If you are over 60, or are a veteran, contact the Elderly and Veteran's Services Division at 954-357-6622.

2-1-1 Broward is available 24 hours a day to help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. For a complete list of services, dial 2-1-1 or 954-537-0211, TTY 954-390-0492 211, or go to 211-Broward.org.

To receive communications (such as this newsletter) from my office via email, or to arrange for myself or my Community Outreach Liaison, Launa Carbonell to attend your neighborhood or homeowner association meeting, please contact Launa at 954-357-7008 or lcarbonell@broward.org.

Other Resources

For Access to Healthcare or Relief from Homelessness:

Emergency Financial Assistance:

Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Inc.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing homelessness call the Homeless Helpline at 954-563-HELP (4357) for a friendly voice that can help you get the information, service or assistance you need to get back on your feet. Mon. - Fri.: 8AM to 6PM • Sat. - Sun.: 8AM to Noon. Broward.org/Homeless